Monday, 28 January 2013

Chapelle de Bethléem - site of a weird reality bleed

Chapelle de Bethléem in Saint-Jean-de-Boiseau, France, was classed as a historical monument in 1911. It was restored in the period 1993 to 1995 by people who clearly have a bit of a sense of humour. The new gargoyles which crouch about the roof are based on geek-culture icons. There is a xenomorph from Alien, Gizmo and evil Gremlins from the cult 80s flick.

On one level this could be viewed as a light-hearted nod to pop culture, or perhaps even a deeper statement about the way our demons have changed from traditional Biblical devils to more other-worldly threats. However, for me I enjoy the Ballard-ian reality bleed of the situation.

Our pop icons are now so embedded in culture, and so many of us are now so far removed from Christian teaching, that the alien is a very real, potent symbol of mortal terror. The horrific biomechanoid was designed to sell a movie over a summer, and perhaps garner some acclaim thereafter (perhaps in the manner of Gort the robot or some equivalent), but has grown to be much more than that. He is cosmic terror incarnate, recognised as such my millions across the globe. In Aliens: Salvation, a licensed spin-off comic by Dark Horse, a group forms a cult to worship the aliens. With their presence on churches, how long will it be before this starts to happen in reality?

More photos here.

Via The Macabre And the Beautifully Grotesque

2 comments:

  1. Hilarious! Reconstructors sure had good taste.

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  2. Really phenomenal - beautifully baroque, but I agree with you that there's still a dark chill at the heart of sculpting gargoyles as Hans Giger's aliens.

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